Diego Simeone compared to Sir Alex Ferguson by Atletico star Antoine Griezmann

Diego Simeone compared to Sir Alex Ferguson by Atletico star Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann believes Diego Simeone is having the same impact on the club as Sir Alex Ferguson did at Manchester United.

The Spanish side will be playing in their second Europa League final under Simeone this evening as they face Marseille in Lyon.

Atletico dropped down from the Champions League this season, beating the likes of FC Copenhagen, Lokomotiv Moscow, Sporting Lisbon and Arsenal on their way to the final.

And Griezmann believes he owes his manager a lot for the progress he has made in his career so far.

“What Cholo is doing for this club is historic. It reminds me a bit of Ferguson and what he did at Manchester United,” he told UEFA’s official website.

“I hope he has that sort of career because he deserves it and takes the team where he wants, at the most, among the ‘tops’ of the world. Thanks to him we are there.

“El Cholo made me grow personally and professionally. I’m delighted with him, I owe him a lot, I know, I’m very fond of him.

“I know that he will always ask me for the best, the maximum and I will always be there to help him and to win matches.”

Griezmann has once again been a key player for Atletico in all competitions this season, scoring 27 in 47 appearances as they also look to secure second in La Liga.

Simeone’s Atletico spell

Taking over as Atletico manager in December 2011, Simeone has managed 375 games for the club, leading them to five trophies.

The first came in his first six months at the club, as they won the Europa League final, beating Athletic Bilbao 3-0.

Shortly after, the UEFA Super Cup followed with a 4-1 win over Champions League winners Chelsea, while the Copa del Rey was also won during the 2012/13 season.

The following season, Simeone then led Atletico to the La Liga title and the subsequent Spanish Super Cup, but there was also heartbreak in the Champions League as the club have lost two finals to Real Madrid and Barcelona in 2013/14 and 2015/16.